One of the old baseball adages is that you can tell when a pitcher is good when he does well without his best stuff.
Rookie Zach Britton, in his fourth major-league start, was not crisp on Wednesday against the Minnesota Twins. The sinkerballer had trouble keeping many of his pitches down, but he walked off the mound after six innings with the Orioles leading, 5-3.
He gave up five hits – including a homer to Michael Cuddyer – and three runs in six innings while walking three and striking out three. He threw 88 pitches, 50 for strikes, against a Twins lineup that was without four regulars.
Yet if it weren't for a two-run, two-out single up the middle by Danny Valencia in the sixth, Britton's line would have been rather strong. Still, he recorded his third quality start in four big-league appearances.